BANANA OR PLANTAIN
WHICH DO YOU PREFER?
The banana and the plantain both belong to the banana family. The banana, being the true fruit of the two, is eaten raw, and the plantain being considered a “relative”, is eaten and prepared as a vegetable. To the eyes they both look slightly similar, but when you initiate the peeling process, you begin to unfold and recognize the differences they have. They have a texture all their own. Both require very unique preparation and consumption techniques. The banana and plantain also have their own medicinal uses as well.
The banana is best known in most popular cultures as a soft, sweet “dessert” banana. The leaves can grow a minimum of 9ft. long and 2ft. wide. The plant itself reaches a whopping 20-25ft. in height. The plantain leaves on the other hand, could exceed 8ft. in length, but their leaves are much stronger and sturdier than those of the banana leaves. In many cultures they are used as serving dishes and plates. The plantain leaves also assist in some cooking processes unlike the banana leaves. The plantain is a firmer, starchier “fruit” and is usually referred to as the cooking banana. For example; in the Caribbean’s it is known as the pasta and potato fruit. They are both native to the tropical south and the Southeast Asia region. The banana plant family is the world’s largest herb and is available all year around.
The healthiest fruit, when eaten raw, the banana requires no immediate preparation for consumption. In addition, it may also be used in adding additional flavor to muffins, Jell-O’s, cereals, etc… You can just peel back the soft, thin outer skin and enjoy. Otherwise, with the plantain, which is not suitable for raw consumption, you will need to utilize a knife to remove the harder, much thicker skin. The plantain will also need to be cooked first, either by steaming, grilling, sautéing, frying or boiling. Only, after cooking the plantain, do they both have equal nutritional...